After earning an undergraduate degree in psychology or a similar field, you might look at the career options with a master's in human behavior before enrolling in graduate school. This is an advanced and specialized form of psychology that deals more closely with why and how humans act in the ways that they do. The insight that you gain in a graduate level program can assist you as a counselor or working in the corrections field.
As you study human behavior, you learn how the environment and the way a person is raised can impact the way that individual acts later. That insight will help you as a probation officer. When the police arrest a criminal and the court determines that the individual should not go to jail, the person may receive probation. You can be the one responsible for ensuring that criminal meets any regulations imposed by the court. The judge may require that the individual meet with a psychiatrist, do community service or find a job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median salary of probation officers at around $49,000 a year.
Human behavior master's programs often require that students do some fieldwork and write a thesis. The experience that you gain can help you when you work as a career counselor. People seek out career counselors when they need help identifying their skills, writing their resumes and deciding what to do with their lives. You may test your clients to see which professions they are best suited for, help them learn the best way to write a resume and cover letter or find training schools nearby that offer classes in the careers they hope to one day have.
If you are a fan of certain television shows or film genres, you might think that the Federal Bureau of Investigations hires hundreds of criminal profilers every year. The truth is that profilers are usually psychiatrists or psychologists who have an advanced degree and start out as standard field agents. You can work as an agent and slowly work your way up to other positions before doing any profiling work. The FBI requires that all new agents be a citizen of the United States and have a college degree. You will also need to pass a background check, physical fitness test and a psychological examination.
Mental Health Counselor
Other career options with a master's in human behavior include jobs as mental health counselors. These counselors specialize in the treatment of mental and emotional disorders, including schizophrenia, bi polar disorder, depression and anxiety disorders. You will meet with your patients in an office that makes them feel safe and comfortable to talk with them about their symptoms and why they feel the way they do. While you cannot prescribe medications without a medical license, you can refer your patients to doctors who can prescribe them the medications that they need. Some counselors specialize in family or marriage counseling.
It will usually take two years or longer to earn a graduate degree after completing your bachelor's degree. Your studies teach you more about the factors that can impact an individual and how to identify symptoms of mental conditions in patients. Mental health counselors, probation officers, career counselors and FBI agents are among the career options with a master's in human behavior open to you.
For those who are considering furthering their education with a doctoral degree in counseling:
- 5 Best Accredited Online Doctoral Degrees in Counselor Education and Supervision
- 50 Best Psy.D. Programs in Clinical Psychology 2016
- 50 Best Doctoral Programs in Counseling Psychology 2015
- 50 Best Doctoral Programs in School Psychology 2015
- 50 Best Ph.D. Programs in Clinical Psychology 2016
- Top 45 Most Affordable Accredited Doctoral Degrees in Counselor Education and Supervision 2016